It’s cold, it’s raining, it’s miserable… It’s the perfect time of year to curl up in front of a roaring fire. But real, working, open fireplaces are few and far between in London. So, when we want to warm the cockles, the only thing for it is to leave the house and head to one of London’s best pubs, restaurants or hotels to curl up fireside, drink mulled wine, and eat like we’re getting ready for hibernation.
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Sure, this fireplace may be outdoors, but that doesn’t stop it being one of the cosiest spots we’ve discovered of late. Luca’s secret garden terrace is foliage-filled, lit by candlelight, sheltered by a retractable cover and, most importantly, heated by a stunning open fire.
Book a table here as the days get longer and colder, and expect to tuck into British seasonal ingredients served through an Italian lens. Think Burrata with poached pear, Parma ham and salsa di noci; Scottish halibut with smoked mussels, Romanesco and sea herbs; and Parmesan gnocchi cacio e pepe with autumn truffle.
Where: 88 St John St, London EC1M 4EH
Clos Maggiore is widely known as London’s most romantic restaurant and we couldn’t agree more. Perfectly slotted in the heart of Covent Garden, the restaurant draws influences from country inns scattered across Tuscany and Provence aptly noted by the cherry blossom covered conservatory.
Of course, another show stopping feature is the gigantic fireplace dominating the main dining room that you’ll no doubt want to cosy up by as you dine the evening away.
Where: 33 King St, London WC2E 8JD
Cool East London hangout nhow London has a predictably on-trend alternative to your common garden roaring fire… an LED water vapour fire.
Not only is it far cooler not having to shovel coal onto it, but the fire ensures that you remain cosy while you play a range of board games, ideally fuelled by the all-day dining menu and fully stocked bar.
Where: 2 Macclesfield Rd, London EC1V 8DG
Hammersmith’s Kindred keeps popping up in our guides, and the reason has to be that the West London members’ club is effortlessly cool.
So, of course, they would have an open fire to make their members feel extra warm and fuzzy. Located in the hall space on the middle floor where they host their live music, comedy and cabaret events, it’s the perfect place to meet people for lunch by day and experience live entertainment with a cocktail in hand by night.
Where: Bradmore House, Queen Caroline St, London W6 9BW
Loved by the royal family, this hotel may be grand, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be toasty and warm. It keeps the fire in the dimly lit cocktail bar alight, serving a menu of exquisite cocktails, from the Rosehip Royale to The Goring Cup, incorporating liqueurs and spirits from fellow Royal Warrant holders.
It’s the perfect place to warm up in luxury five star surroundings.
Where: 15 Beeston Pl, London SW1W 0JW
Probably one of the most outlandish fireplaces we’ve ever laid our eyes on, you’re sure to want to plaster Beach Blanket Babylon’s impressive fireplace all over your Instafeed.
Their Notting Hill outpost boasts three fireplaces that you can snuggle up by and while away your evening while wining and dining.
Where: 45 Ledbury Rd, London W11 2AA
There’s a lot to love about The Cadogan Arms in Chelsea – not least its delicious gastropub grub. But there’s every chance you’ll find us by the roaring fireside this winter, tucking into a Sunday roast.
The old pub has been fully restored in recent years, with many features that make it one of London’s prettiest. Think wood panelling, chandeliers, seasonal foliage, and an ornate bar that all combines to give this pub a unique charm.
Where: 298 King’s Rd, London SW3 5UG
Curl up fireside, drink mulled wine, and eat like you're getting ready for hibernation.
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This bar is full of lures for the discerning central London drinker, including snazzy décor, incredible caricature-inspired cocktails, and a roaring fire that will keep you warm all winter long.
Pull up a seat by the fire and indulge in a range of decadent bar snacks including crab and ginger spring rolls with coconut and yuzu dip; buttermilk fried chicken with curried lime dip; and wild boar and black pudding scotch egg with sage and Bloody Mary ketchup.
Where: Rosewood London, 252 High Holborn, London WC1V 7EN
Whoever said less is more has clearly never been to the Zetter Townhouse. This popular London haunt is decorated with an eclectic selection of objet d’art and comfy armchairs that makes for the perfect cosy setting to escape to for a few hours.
Settle in, peruse the cocktail menu, or order their ever popular take on Afternoon Tea for two to enjoy in front of the fire.
A regal setting if there ever was one, The New York Bar at The Rubens Hotel is festive-coloured and cosy come winter. Renowned for its striking red décor, open fire, original artwork, and friendly ambiance, it blends traditional hospitality with innovative cocktails, gin-tasting experiences and live music.
Most importantly, there’s an inviting fireplace for the colder months, perfect for cosying up on date night over light bites and champagne.
Where: 39 Buckingham Palace Rd, London SW1W 0PS
The Stafford, elegantly squirrelled away just off Green Park, unfolds into a labyrinth of drawing rooms and dining rooms as you make your way through the hotel to get from St James’ Place to St James’ Street and avoid the cold.
But as you go, make sure to stop to warm your hands on the open fires. There are two located at opposite ends of the drawing room, but we recommend popping into The Game Bird’s lounge. Here you can indulge in Afternoon Tea or a quick coffee break, complete with a cosy fireplace to warm you up in the cold winter months, and a mulled wine in hand for good measure.
Where: 16-18, St James’s Pl, St. James’s, London SW1A 1NJ
This hotel hideaway gets the thumbs up from us for its timeless glamour and gorgeous afternoon tea set in The Orchid Lounge. But add a real fire to that and you’ll understand why it’s hard to resist come winter time.
With views over the Plaza, the scene is set for a wonderful opportunity to sip, savour and enjoy afternoon tea treats curled up in your fireside seat.
Where: 80 Houndsditch, London EC3A 7AB